Five Fights To Make in the UFC's Light Heavyweight Division

Five Fights To Make in the UFC's Light Heavyweight Division

Evan Montgomery|
June 13, 2022|

The Light Heavyweight division crowned a new king at UFC 275, with Jiri Prochazka taking home the belt after a five-round war that saw him secure a submission with 28 seconds remaining in the 5th round.

There is no shortage of contenders at 205 pounds, with fighters like Jan Blachowicz waiting in the wings. A number of top ranked matches are currently booked in the division, with Anthony Smith fighting Magomed Ankalaev and Thiago Santos squaring off opposite Jamahal Hill.

Let's get into the top five fights to be made next at 205 pounds!

Jiri Prochazka vs. Glover Teixeira Rematch

Jiri Prochazka certainly made a statement with this win, identifying himself as one of the most all-action fighters on the UFC roster. There are a plethora of challengers waiting for a crack at the gold, but for my money, I would love to see a Teixeira rematch. Glover Teixeira looked poised to take home his first title defense, before he was caught in a last second submission attempt from Prochazka. The veteran has made no secret that retirement is around the corner, but he wants at least one more bout before hanging up the gloves. Dana White has made comments about the upcoming July bout between Anthony Smith and Magomed Ankalaev as the number one contender fight, but either fighter likely would need another win, and would not be on the same timeframe for a turnaround as Teixeira. After a wild fight of this magnitude, there are few fight fans who would not sign up for another meeting.


Jan Blachowicz vs. Winner of Smith/Ankalaev

Jan Blachowicz won the belt with a knockout over Dominick Reyes and defended the title against Israel Adesanya. After dropping the title to Glover Teixeira, he got back on track with a win over Aleksander Rakic, though the fight ended by disappointing injury. He is certainly a contender for the title, but with the anti-climactic performance in his last bout, he may not get it. A faceoff with the winner of the upcoming Anthony Smith and Magomed Ankalaev fight would determine a clear number one contender.

Aleksander Rakic vs. Dominick Reyes

After his gruesome injury opposite Jan Blachowicz, Aleksander Rakic will likely remain on the shelf for some time. However, that gives the rest of the division some time to sort itself out before his return. I like a top-flight bout with Dominick Reyes, that could get him back into the title picture with a dominant win. Dominick Reyes has not competed since a May 2021 knockout loss to the aforementioned Prochazka, and will be looking to re-establish himself at the top of the rankings. A fight between these top 5 prospects would be fireworks and establish a threat to the title.


Jimmy Crute vs. Johnny Walker

I like this top 15 bout between strikers, sure to produce a knockout or Fight of the Night. Jimmy Crute came off the Contender Series, and proved his prospect status with four finishes in his first five Octagon bouts. He has dropped his last two bouts, suffering a leg injury to Anthony Smith before being knocked out by Jamahal Hill. Johnny Walker immediately made headlines upon joining the UFC, picking up three straight sub-minute finishes. He is also coming off two losses, to Thiago Santos and Jamahal Hill.

Ovince Saint Preux vs. Ryan Spann

Ovince Saint Preux dropped back down to Light Heavyweight after a loss to Tanner Boser up at 265 pounds. He got back on track with a split decision over Shogun Rua in their rematch, looking to set up another run at the LHW rankings. Ryan Spann is another Contender Series product who favors the finish. After dropping a submission to Anthony Smith, Spann picked up a first round submission over Ion Cutelaba in his last outing. Looking to progress in the rankings, a clash with a proven veteran like OSP would give Spann a chance to get another win streak together.

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